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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P005578/1
Title: Adaptive Tools for Electromagnetics and Materials Modelling to Bridge the Gap between Design and Manufacturing (AOTOMAT)
Principal Investigator: Hao, Professor Y
Other Investigators:
Yao, Professor X Grant, Professor P Dove, Professor MT
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BAE Systems Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL Leonardo UK ltd
Department: Sch of Electronic Eng & Computer Science
Organisation: Queen Mary University of London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2016 Ends: 30 November 2019 Value (£): 935,611
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Engineering Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Jun 2016 Design By Science Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is an industry-wide expectation that in order to meet the challenges laid out in the Horizon 2020 JTP document Clean Sky 2 (CS2), radically novel approaches are needed for the aircraft design, aerodynamics and the integration of novel functional and structural capabilities that together provide significant to savings weight and fuel. Current designs of communication system are based on non-conformal solutions and/or mechanically steerable antenna systems using mechanically steerable parabolic dishes (bulky) or phased arrays (expensive), both covered with excessive radomes. These solutions are protuberant, increasing aerodynamic drag, fuel consumption, visibility, and degrading handling qualities.

To enable this step change, seamlessly embedded antennas and communication systems are needed so that they become part of the aircraft fuselage, which are constructed using novel advanced materials. This concept presents a highly innovative but challenging objective since solutions must also be manufacturable at sensible cost while meeting structural and system functionalities. The electromagnetic challenge is to come up with a conformal embedded communication system design that does not degrade performance, and allows interoperability between multiple antennas on a single platform in the presence of structural materials. In addition, the effects of new functionalities on strict mechanical and safety performance must be considered, and MRO-based repair and maintenance must remain possible.

An adaptive approach to design is therefore required to optimize across (i) electromagnetic performance, (ii) aerodynamic performance based on realistic loads and non-linear vibrations and (iii) manufacturability, particularly drawing on latest 3D additive approaches to embedded functional materials. We aim to develop a novel computational tool-set that will be based on recent scientific advances in electromagnetics, atomistic-scale material and data-driven modelling both at the functional-structural dimensions and over the multi-scale geometric complexity. This deployment will provide robust design methodologies that can minimize the cost during the prototyping stage by providing results in a realistic time frame and will lead to optimal engineering designs in relation to aircraft that are ad hoc at best and heuristic at worst.

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